Menopause officially occurs when a woman has not had a menstrual cycle for at least 12 months.
And, while most people are familiar with the iconic “hot-flashes” that go along with this new phase in a woman’s life, many may not be aware of the numerous menopausal skin changes that can crop up with menopause as well.
These changes can happen either with a natural menopause, or a “surgical menopause” which occurs when a woman has a hysterectomy.
Read on to learn about 9 potential skin changes that can develop with menopause, as well as some way that you can minimize their effects.
Estrogen plays a big role in the skin’s natural production of moisturizing oils, as well as helping to keep moisture locked in place. With the gradual decline of estrogen after menopause, the skin can become dry, itchy, and flaky.
You can help alleviate menopausal skin dryness by applying hyaluronic acid and glycerin-containing moisturizers just after showering or washing your face. These ingredients help lock in moisture and may help reduce the dryness from lack of estrogen.
Switching up your skincare routine to phase out harsh scrubs, stripping exfoliants, and intense cleansers can help keep the oils and moisture where you need them.
Estrogen helps boost the formation and maintenance of thickening and bouncy collagen and elastin in the skin. So, the decline of this female hormone could lead to thinning and sagging skin over time.
Along with the reduction of the thickening skin proteins mentioned above, estrogen also plays a role in maintaining the tiny vessels underneath the skin, so a decline in these oxygen and nutrient supply routes can lead to thinning facial skin.
Ingredients such as vitamin C and retinoids can help rebuild and retain collagen in the skin, and may be a helpful addition to any post-menopausal skincare routine.
Regular exercise can also boost blood flow to the facial skin, helping to maintain that all-important oxygen and nutrient supply.
As a strange turn of events during this time, the declining estrogen levels can be paired with a steadying or slight increase in testosterone levels (yes, women have a little bit too.)
This new ratio of testosterone to estrogen levels can lead to an “uncovering” of more testosterone-related skin concerns, including more and thicker facial hairs popping up around the jawline, upper lip, and chin area.
This can be easily remedied by hair removal options, although you may want to skip the waxing as post-menopausal thinning skin could increase the incidence of tearing and skin injuries when quickly removing the wax.
Estrogen wears many hats when it comes to skin, including the role of regulating the melanocytes, which are the pigment-producing cells in the skin.
This dysregulation of the melanocytes coupled with decades of UV damage from the sun can lead to age spots appearing on the face, neck, arms, and hands.
These spots are not dangerous, but if they are bothersome, spot-lightening treatments like hydroquinone or retinoids can be prescribed by your doctor or dermatologist.
As people age, the risk of developing cancerous or precancerous skin growths increases. To help combat the appearance of these lesions, a daily sunscreen routine and getting a regular skin check for unusual areas is needed.
With age and the decrease of hormones, the time it takes for skin injuries or blemishes to fully heal can increase.
These wounds will usually eventually fully heal on their own, but if the time seems especially drawn out or the wound appears infected, you should speak with a doctor or dermatologist about treatment options.
Avoid the creation of tiny skin injuries in the first place by making sure to avoid picking and popping skin blemishes.
The appearance of more wrinkles after menopause can be attributed to a mix of things going on including a reduced ability to retain moisture, less collagen, and thinner skin. This can lead to more laugh lines, crows feet, and crepey skin.
Maintaining a steady skin regimen consisting of sunscreen, a water locking moisturizer, and talking to your doctor about using retinoids like Tretinoin are all good options to help reduce the worsening and development of fine lines and wrinkles.
More acne after menopause may seem to come out of left field, but the emergence of pimples and blemishes on par with a high schooler can sometimes happen.
This is due to the loss of estrogen which was stimulating a thinner face oil production (that was less likely to clog pores) and testosterone is now revealed to play more of a role in producing a thicker (more pore-clogging) sebum.
You can try to use tried and true salicylic or benzoyl peroxide acne washes to help bust up breakouts, although for more mature skin these may be too drying.
Retinoids like prescription Tretinoin can also help reduce acne while boosting collagen production and preventing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, making Tretinoin a win-win when it comes to acne during menopause.
After menopause, the pH of the skin can increase (become less acidic.) Since some of the microflora and defensive skin cells like the skin’s pH to be a little bit lower, at around 5.4, they may not function quite as effectively as they once did.
This pH adjustment can then lead to skin being more prone to rashes and sensitivity, even if you never had issues like these before.
If this is the case with your skin, take care to pick out products formulated for sensitivity, and avoid added colors, scents, and harsh ingredients.
Here at Strut Health, our doctors and pharmacists formulated hormone-free prescription brightening and anti-aging formulas perfect for the continued beauty of a maturing visage.
Strut Brightly Formula focuses on brightening and collagen-boosting vitamin C paired with hydration boosting hyaluronic acid and a Botox-like skin-firming peptide.
Strut Anti-Aging Formula combines water-locking hyaluronic acid with fine line smoothing and acne-reducing Tretinoin. You can have a free online visit with our U.S. licensed doctors today to see if one or both of these pharmaceutical-grade beauty treatments is a good fit for your post-menopausal skin goals.
If you are a good candidate for treatment, your medicated formula can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping.